iTunes New and Noteworthy Podcast Category – A RETORT

By March 21, 2016Uncategorized

Most of the silly things written on the internet are best left ignored. This one had to be addressed… let me explain:

Business owners call me to talk about risks and rewards of podcasting as a way to grow their businesses. This often leads to conversations regarding the importance of a powerful launch. I always say something like, “we want to drive traffic to iTunes in order to rank on the New and Noteworthy (N&N) podcast section early.”

So when a leading podcast blogger writes:

“Anyone who tells you about being #1 in iTunes “New and Noteworthy” is wrong. There’s no such thing as #1 because “New and Noteworthy” is not a ranking system.” – Daniel J. Lewis

Semantically, this statement might be accurate. The N&N doesn’t have the numerical rankings that the ‘Top Podcasts’ list has.

However, if you’re trying to grow a podcast audience, this statement is misleading. Let me explain how it works:

How the New and Noteworthy Podcast List Works in Relation to Getting on the Front Page of iTunes:

This is how New and Noteworthy Section of iTunes works


Perhaps there is no specific ranking, but the first show is listed above the second. The second show is listed above the third. This pattern continues until you get to the end of the list.

The shows that aren’t on this list, aren’t on the list. That matters.

How The Front Page of iTunes Works

If we can get shows listed in one of the top 32 positions in the New and Noteworthy list then we’re on the front page of the iTunes store.

If we can get a show in one of the top 16 positions, we are ‘above the fold’ on the iTunes store. ‘Above the fold’ means that our show art will be the first to display for everyone in the country.

I’m confident that that is a big deal.

Semantics and Strategy in Podcasting

Perhaps the first sentence of this blog post should read: “Anyone who tells you about being #1 in iTunes “New and Noteworthy” is wrong. There’s no such thing as #1 because “New and Noteworthy” is not a ranking system. The marketeers shouldn’t say ‘ranks #1.

They should say, “topping the iTunes New and Noteworthy list.”

Topping the list vs. ranking #1. It’s a matter of semantics.

Getting to the top matters.


About Ian

Ian started producing podcasts for clients in 2010. He now focuses on making Freedom Podcasting awesome. He's working on the Freedom Podcasting App, making videos about podcast studios or doing whatever else to work for Freedom Podcasting.


  • Dave Jackson says:

    Let’s say this is true. You didn’t address the lack of logic behind the list (Daniel pointed out some things that make no sense). Also, can you provide any numbers on what kind of bump you get per download? So many people put TONS of effort into N&N and get next to nothing in return. It makes me throw up in my mouth (just a little bit).

  • Mack Caster says:

    Ian, you wrote a great article and I take the same stance as you do. What you may not know, is that some of the people, who are trying to play down the fact of being on N&N, once listed that very accomplishment, on their own websites to show their expertise. They also have listed the fact that they have won an award, that unless you are a Podcaster, 99.9% of the rest of the world, has never heard of. This award is now going the way of the dodo as it seems that the goal of raising $25,000 to keep it alive, fell $23,000 short, according to Go Fund Me and the Awards Official Website. My 7 year old Granddaughter, has heard of iTunes and knows how to use them to download her songs. Having your show listed in N&N is a GREAT thing and in my opinion, is much more impressive and something to be proud of, then anything out there today, at this time. To you and your crew, keep up the great work!

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